Why Is My Outlet Hot?

Posted On: August 15, 2016

Seeing as how your outlets are used to run electricity through your home and into your appliances and electronic devices, the last thing you want to deal with is a problem with your outlet that could cause damage or injury. For example, when your outlet becomes hot to the touch.

Your Outlet Is Hot Because…

Outlets should not become hot, whether they’re in use or not. If your outlet becomes hot to the touch, it’s most likely due to one of the following reasons:

  • A short circuit that occurred in one of the wires – This can happen when electricity doesn’t flow through the path it was meant to take according to the circuit design, thereby creating excess heat that the outlet’s wires and terminals weren’t designed to handle.
  • The outlet itself is old and worn out – There may be loose contacts or touching wires. A bad connection won’t result in a blown fuse, which would then disconnect your power and remove any risk. Instead, it will allow the electric current to keep flowing through even though there is resistance, thereby causing it to get extremely hot.
  • There’s an overload – If the electrical circuit that your outlet belongs to is overloaded, then it’s carrying more electrical current than it was designed to handle. This happens when you have too many appliances or electronics plugged into the outlets on that circuit.

How Can You Fix A Hot Outlet?

If the outlet is warm but not hot, then it could be because the electronic or appliance that was lugged in contained an internal transformer that changed the voltage input to a different voltage output. Unplug the device and wait for an hour for the outlet to cool down. Plug a device that does not contain an internal transformer to see if it warms up. If it doesn’t, that was the issue.

If the outlet is hot to the touch because your circuit is being overloaded, then you’ll need to turn off the circuit breaker that controls the outlet. At this point, you’re going to need to schedule an electrician to come and check your wires and to identify whether the outlet needs to be repaired or replaced.

What to Do If Your Outlet Is Hot

Turn the appliance or electronic device that’s plugged in off and remove it from the outlet. Leaving the appliance or electronic device plugged in could risk damage to the device or result in an electrical fire. Do not attempt to inspect the outlet yourself. You should never fool around with any of your home’s electrical components unless you have the proper training, experience and tools to do so. Instead. You should call an electrician as soon as possible.

Here at Jaffe Electric, our technicians have been carefully trained to thoroughly inspect and repair any issues involving your home’s outlets. If you are in need of outlet repair in Maryland, be sure to contact us at Jaffe Electric in order to schedule an appointment today.

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